First things first, disclaimers, this art is a commissioned piece I requested from the artist Beverley Yiim. You can commission art of your own from her through her Twitter. This is the piece I commissioned:
The plot of the story, Amara needs help finding someone. Someone from her past that has eluded her for a long time. This person is called “The Panther” and was Amara’s nemesis back during her days as the Tiger of Partali. The Panther wasn’t like her usual prey, the Panther was elusive, smart, made Amara’s siren abilities mean nothing. The Panther never faced her head on, just utilized technology, cunning strategies, and made innocent people suffer. Amara was nearly killed by this villain 3 times. Acts of brutality and hardship were brought on Partali by the Panther, it was nothing short of terrorism for it’s people. One day though, the Panther had seemingly disappeared. Now the villain has seemingly returned to Partali, and Amara needs aid in finding this person.
Zane the oprerative, the infamous surviving Flynt brother. An old-timer that has mastered his craft in espionage, assassinations, and being a badass arsekicker. The siren asks aid of the operative to help her with this problem. The reason she doesn’t bring the whole team, this is a personal matter for her. The Panther is not official Raider business, there are no vaults to find or loot on Partali, no reward is guaranteed for the effort. There’s that, and Amara has a reputation to uphold. She has gone back to Partali to clean up this new wave of crime, poverty, and corruption that had arisen in her time away with the Raiders. If the public saw the company she kept, namely killer homicidal robot with beasts, a soldier from one of those fascist money-grubbing corporations, and a trained psychotic killer who takes credit cards, well…it wouldn’t do her fame or legend any favors. This is one of the reasons she hires Zane. The operative can suit himself to her needs.
Zane does not come to Partali as himself, but as someone else. While Amara has her agent pick her up from this universes version of an airport in space, Zane makes the trip to Partali like any other regular civilian. He comes to Partali under the guise of Shay Flynn, just your average space refugee, a newcomer and immigrant to Partali. Reasons for this, not just to help Amara retain her reputation, but to blend in, and avoid assassins who are still out for his head. The very reason he “retired” to Pandora in the first place, was because of the price put on his head. All these groups, all those corporations, all those personal grudges, against him or for the sins of his family. This is why Zane is not wearing his regular default clothes and is not sporting that magnificent beard of his. Rather his face looks similar to his Tusk Raider head in-game, minus the tusks and the scars. Just your regular guy, no seasoned assassin here, just your average Joe.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Borderlands without everything going to hell in a hand-basket. Both Amara and Zane are faced with their own problems upon arriving in Partali. For Amara, it is celebrity life. Her home has changed since she left it. Where it used to be a planet of no significance, because of her fame and sirenhood, corporations have invested themselves in its society. Where their use to be slums and low buildings, you see paved roads and skyscrapers. Amara had said Promethea reminded her of home, now her home is no better. New rules and laws have been passed, one’s that deny Amara the ability to act as the vigilante heroin she had once been. Of course, she could ignore it as she had before, but the press isn’t so kind as to paint her as the hero she’d once been. Corrupt officials have taken over, and worse, some of these people were once people Amara knew. Now her fame relies on past glories to survive, she has to take on roles her agent recommends, but she doesn’t want to. Her own fame denies her her true passions. She’s the Tiger of Partali, but the dilemma she’s run into, she’s a tiger whose been collared.
Zane’s dilemmas, he has no description, and no leads on his target. Amara asked for his help, hired him for his services, and he aims to deliver on them. The only way to find a lead, get involved with the wrong types of people. thugs, gangsters, corrupt officials, corporate dickheads looking to do better than their competitors. Which of course, comes into conflict with the rules Amara had set for the job, which were “Don’t cause any trouble and never kill the innocent.” Easier said than done when conducting espionage with killers and psychopaths. It’s the best he can do on what he’s been given, which is essentially crap. Because of his persona, Zane is treated no better than other refugees that have come to Partali. Poor housing and living conditions, officials that don’t care if you live or die so long as they make a buck, and a life of poverty. If that wasn’t enough, there is the threat that people will see through his disguise. No normal thug could pull off this many jobs this skilled and quickly. Zane’s making “friends” like he always does.
This story has three acts to it, the first is Partali, while the second and third will take place on OC planets. Partali has its problems, the corporations, corrupt officials, criminals, ratch, homeless people that want to eat you called Rakshasa (abominations caused by corporate experimentation gone wrong), and assassins. Amara and Zane must face it all, and their decisions will have an impact on Partali. For this story, I decided to add a degree of interactivity. There will be times when you the reader decide what actions these two will make. These actions will have consequences, some long-lasting, others just for the immediate moment. These decisions influence the characters, how they speak will reflect what kind of people you the reader make them out to be. Let it be known, I intend to keep these two in character, but their actions and decisions will have depth. They are aware of what they do, and will admit and say their own piece in regards to their actions. What they do not only affects them, but the people they come into contact with.